The issue of sick pay for workers affected by Covid-19 will be discussed tomorrow when the Cabinet Sub-Committee chaired by the Taoiseach convenes. 

On Friday, government officials met representatives of employers and unions to discuss possible mechanisms to ensure income support for workers who either contract the virus or are forced the self-isolate for up to 14 days on a precautionary basis.

It is feared that workers who do not have contractual sick pay entitlements and who cannot afford loss of income will refuse to take time off, and will risk spreading the virus by presenting for work while ill or infected. 

Following Friday's consultation no further follow-up meetings with those bodies took place over the weekend, but the issue has been described as a "key priority".

According to one source who attended Friday's meeting, there was general consensus that the first priority was to make sure employees got paid.

The source said the second key issue was how to facilitate, while the third was how to afford it. 

Another complicating factor mentioned by several sources is that some possible mechanisms to permit financial transfers to workers could require legislation in order to enable them - and that would be difficult and slow particularly given the current lack of a government.

The Cabinet Sub-Committee is also expected to receive a comprehensive briefing on "necessary public health responses" as well as advice on "mitigations and contingencies" for various sectors.